Businesses in Festus and Crystal City say closing of license office will impact area

JEFFERSON COUNTY, MO – The Festus/Crystal City Chamber of Commerce is taking an economic hit.  It will no longer operate the Twin City licenses office.

Fox 2`s Dan Gray was in Festus with reaction from business and community leaders.

The Festus/Crystal City Chamber of Commerce has held the contract to manage the Twin City license office on Main Street in Festus for more than 50 years.  That has meant hundreds of thousands of dollars to the chamber over the years.

Last year the Twin City license office processed nearly $200,000 in fees.  Some of that money went to the chamber, a nonprofit organization. But now through a competitive bid process, the Missouri Department of Revenue has awarded the contract to the York Management Group, which operates other license offices in the state of Missouri. Festus/Crystal city business owners fear less money to the chamber will mean fewer promotions of their businesses, and community leaders say the change in the bidding process has put nonprofits at a disadvantage in competing for the contracts.

Luke Taytro, Petit Paree Restaurant Owner had this to say about the closing of the license office, “For somebody, you know out there receiving those funds and that's not coming back into our community is bothersome."

Patrick Martin, a former Twin City Chamber Of Commerce board member, “In 2009 they had a different application process where points were awarded for various aspects of their application including home much they were going to give back to the department of revenue. That didn't use to be a factor.”

The current contract official of the twin city chamber of commerce said she could not comment about the change because the contract doesn't expire until the end of this month.